In a startling revelation, a recent report has shed light on the influence of a powerful psychoactive drug, Captagon, on Hamas terrorists during their unprecedented and lethal attack on Israel in early October. This surprise assault resulted in the tragic loss of over 1,400 lives.
Captagon, often referred to as the ‘cocaine for the poor,’ is a synthetic amphetamine-type stimulant that has gained notoriety for its effects on the human mind. The report, published by The Jerusalem Post, discloses that this drug was discovered among the possessions of many Hamas militants who lost their lives during the Israeli conflict. It is suggested that Captagon provided these terrorists with an eerie calmness and indifference while they committed heinous acts. Additionally, the drug contributed to prolonged alertness, enabling the militants to remain vigilant for extended periods and curbing their appetite.
The use of Captagon in such a context is not unprecedented. In the past, it was found to be used by Islamic State fighters to quell fear before executing acts of terror. As the influence of the Islamic State waned, Syria and Lebanon assumed control of Captagon production and distribution on a large scale. The drug found a significant market in Gaza, particularly among young individuals.
Captagon, belonging to the amphetamine family, was initially developed to address attention disorders, narcolepsy, and depression. Despite its addictive nature and potential to induce psychotic reactions, its affordability and ease of production have made it a prevalent choice in the Middle East. In poorer nations, Captagon can be obtained for as little as $1 or $2 per pill, while in wealthier countries, the cost may rise to $20 per pill.
The effects of Captagon are manifold, inducing sensations of euphoria, reducing the need for sleep, suppressing appetite, and providing sustained energy. Medical professionals in Syria and Lebanon have reported that it is not only favored by fighters but is also commonly used by civilians living in war-torn regions.
Additionally, Captagon has evolved into a lucrative source of income for Syria and is allegedly supported by Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Lebanese group. Investigations have revealed that those associated with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, including family members, established a thriving industry for the production of Captagon, supervised by Assad’s brother. This illicit industry continues to flourish despite the enduring civil war in Syria.
The reach of Captagon extends beyond the Middle East, with significant seizures reported in various countries, including Italy, Malaysia, Greece, and Egypt. In Jordan, the drug is readily available at affordable prices, making it increasingly popular among disadvantaged youth, including school-going children.
Kuwaiti authorities, in 2021, uncovered nine million Captagon pills concealed in a shipment of oranges, highlighting the extent of the illicit trade. Reports have also suggested the presence of Captagon in Israel, where it is reportedly sold for nearly NIS 50 per pill.
In recent times, the prevention of over 250 million Captagon pills from being smuggled represents a significant surge, signifying the extent of the issue. These figures only account for the pills that have been intercepted, raising concerns that the actual volume of smuggling is even greater.
In conclusion, the utilization of Captagon by Hamas militants during the attack on Israel highlights the complex and far-reaching influence of this stimulant, further complicating the region’s security dynamics.